The increasing popularity of electric bikes and scooters cannot be ignored. Rising fuel prices are boosting the sales of environment-friendly and cost-effective electric vehicles. Earlier, most electric two-wheelers were powered by sealed lead acid batteries that limited their performance.
These batteries charged slowly and offered just enough power to cover 60-odd kilometers. The scooters could not go faster than 25 kmph, struggled on inclines and the batteries reached the end of life in about two years. Thus, there was no need to register them or have a driving license to ride them. Also, they could be used without third-party bike insurance.
However, things have changed over the years with the evolution of electric vehicles. Now, electric bikes are much faster; some can even go beyond 100 kmph. Today, many electric bikes can run over 100 kms on a single charge. Modern lithium-powered batteries can last as long as seven years and have thousands of recharge cycles. As a result, most new-age electric bikes need third-party bike insurance.
You must register an e-bike with the RTO and hold a valid driving license to ride it. Since it is mandatory to have insurance for electric bikes and scooters, several vehicle insurance companies have come up with special plans for electric bikes.
Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Bike?
Most modern automobiles are essentially heavy machinery. Therefore, the Government needs to ensure the safety and protection of other people on the road. For example, anyone can get injured or face losses due to another rider or driver on the road. Now, while it is important to help the unwitting victims of the accident, the Government does not want to create a financial burden on the owner of the vehicle either.
So, to avoid undue stress on any party, the Government has made the provision of third-party insurance. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, a bike is allowed on roads only after it is registered with an RTO and has third-party bike insurance.
Reasons to Choose Third-party Insurance
Mainly, there are two reasons why you must buy insurance for your electric bike:
- Third-party bike insurance is mandatory. If you are caught riding your e-bike without it, you can be penalized by the authorities. You may have to pay a heavy fine and even face imprisonment.
- In the event of an accident affecting a third-party person, it offers protection to the policyholder by paying for third-party liabilities. The prices of third-party insurance are regulated by the Government of India through the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. Thus, it is cheaper than comprehensive insurance.
Advantages of Third-party Insurance
- It protects you from challan: Driving without valid motor insurance can attract a fine of Rs 2000 for first-time offenders and Rs 4000 for repeat cases.
- It protects your vehicle registration and driving license: People who are caught multiple times riding without valid third-party insurance face the risk of driving licence cancellation. In many cases, their vehicle itself may get impounded.
- It protects you from jail time: Did you know that in case of habitual violation of traffic rules, a judge can even sentence you to imprisonment? People caught riding a bike without valid insurance may face a jail term of as long as three months.
- It saves you from financial ruin in case of an accident: If you are involved in an accident, causing hurt or damage to a third-party person or their property, they can go to the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. The Tribunal can pronounce compensation of as much as Rs 7.5 lakh for their losses. Further, there is no limitation on the amount of compensation that the Tribunal can pronounce in case of death or injury of a person. This compensation can even run into tens of lakhs of rupees. If you have valid insurance, your policy will cover all the compensation pay-out. However, if you do not have valid third-party bike insurance, you will have to pay for the compensation from your own pocket. Therefore, having insurance is a must if you want to protect yourself from being financially ruined and bankrupted.
- It protects you from legal punishment in case of an accident: As if being financially ruined is not enough, an accident involving your vehicle can lead to criminal action against you in some cases. So, if you do not have valid insurance at the time of the accident, the court may pronounce harsh punishment against you.
All in all, if you own an electric bike, it is very important to have valid third-party bike insurance to enjoy the rides stress-free.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.